The Move to SUVs is Really Starting to Show Itself

Honda SUV Concept

During the first quarter of 2015 the largest dip in sales for midsized family sedans has been felt resulting in a 2.8% drop off in sales compared to the same time last year. This drop off is showing itself to be the result of an increased drive toward SUVs especially since many SUVs are now only slightly larger than sedans, especially in the subcompact crossover segment, making it easy for anyone purchasing or leasing an SUV to gain the feeling and space they desire in their new vehicle.

Even with this reduction in sales percentage, the midsized sedan market is not in any way going to fold as it is still the category with the absolute most sales overall. In fact, one in every seven new vehicles purchased or leased this year have been from the midsized sedan category which is a huge quantity of the overall vehicle market. Knowing this, what does this drop off represent, it actually shows up as 41,600 vehicles, a huge number when you are looking at it from that perspective and learning the actual number of fewer sedans that were bought.

The real confusion comes from the fact so many of the midsized sedan were refreshed or redesigned for 2015 including the Toyota Camry, Chrysler 200, Hyundai Sonata and Subaru Legacy. The top seller out of this group, which has been the leader in sales in the US for the past twelve years, is the Toyota Camry.   The Camry was one midsized sedan that saw an increase in sales from 94,258 cars in 2014 to 100,500 for the same quarter of this year. The Camry, even though it carries the Toyota name, is produced almost entirely in plants in North America, making it an American made Japanese automobile, something we are going to see more of as the automotive industry has plants much closer to where the vehicles are going to be sold.

The next three top sellers for the quarter were the Nissan Altima with 86,875 cars, the Ford Fusion with 71,470 cars and the Honda Accord with 68,645 cars. These four made up more than 56% of the sales for the category during the first quarter of 2015 making them the cornerstone of the market for this year. The Chrysler 200 was redesigned and ended up in fifth place for the first quarter with sales of 49,152 cars which is an increase over the 30,000 sold last year.

In no way is the midsized sedan segment going away and you can see some of the models are experiencing actual increases in vehicles sold, but others unfortunately are not having the same success and are being passed over for the SUVs on the same lots. As the year progresses we will get a better overall idea if this is a trend that will continue or just a one quarter slide that can be quickly righted in the upcoming quarters of this model year.


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